Have The Commies Compromised President Elect Trump With
Or is new report far less than it appears?
January 11, 2017
(NATIONAL) -- CNN dropped a reportorial bombshell Tuesday, complete with Watergate story-breaker Carl Bernstein weighing in on camera to lend weight and authority, just a few hours before President Obama's farewell address to the nation Tuesday night.
President-elect Trump Tweet-reacting to CNN report about two-page synopsis presented to both President Obama and Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise Mr. Trump.
CNN said a group of its reporters had discovered that classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump also included "allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN."
The network emphasized that the two-page synopsis given to both men were only allegations and that the synopsis was included in that intelligence community report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that was, according to intelligence agency officials, designed to help Mr. Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the election.
CNN said the allegations came in part, from memos compiled by "a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible," and added that the FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of the allegations, "Which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump."
The news network also said that one reason the nation's intelligence chiefs took the "extraordinary step of including the synopsis in the briefing documents was to make the President-elect aware that such allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and other government officials in Washington," sources told CNN, according to the report.
CNN also said there was another reason those intelligence agency officials included the synopsis and that was to "Demonstrate that Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, but only released information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Democrats. This synopsis was not an official part of the report from the intelligence community case about Russian hacks, but some officials said it augmented the evidence that Moscow intended to harm Clinton's candidacy and help Trump's, several officials with knowledge of the briefings tell CNN."
Buzzfeed report casts doubt on intelligence agency synopsis
But later Tuesday came another report casting doubt on the allegations CNN reported. Buzzfeed News reported that the allegations are unverified, "and the report contains errors."
Buzzfeed said that a "dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks," and that it is a collection of memos written over a period of months that includes:
1. Specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives
2. Graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians.
BuzzFeed said its reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier "but have not verified or falsified them."
The publishing of the document
Buzzfeed then took a bold and controversial step and published on its website what it claims is the "full document" (35 pages) that makes the allegations about Mr. Trump being compromised with personal and financial information, "So that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government."
The New York Times called that step - posting the actual document that fully detailed the unverified allegations to which CNN had alluded - "A break from typical journalistic practice."
Buzzfeed said the document "Was prepared for political opponents of Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy."
The document Buzzfeed published can be found here .
Mr. Trump responded to the CNN report with an angry Tweet that said, "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
The New York Times also noted that BuzzFeed’s decision to publish that document, "Besides its immediate political ramifications for a president-elect who is to be inaugurated in 10 days, was sure to accelerate a roiling debate about the role and credibility of the traditional media in today’s frenetic, polarized information age. Of particular interest was the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources, a practice that fueled some of the so-called fake news — false rumors passed off as legitimate journalism — that proliferated during the presidential election.'
On Tuesday night Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times said his paper would not publish the document because the allegations were “totally unsubstantiated.”